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58 People Killed In Car Accidents Along Pacific Coast Highway’s Dead Man’s Curve

MALIBU, CALIFORNIAMALIBU CAR ACCIDENT (December 18, 2023) – Activists are calling for change after a staggering 58 people have died since 2010 in car accidents along a dangerous section of Pacific Coast Highway dubbed ‘Dead Man’s Curve.’

Calls for change have intensified after four Pepperdine University seniors were killed when a BMW going 104 mph crashed into several parked cars. Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir, and Deslyn Williams all died due to their injuries.

The road where the crash took place is nestled along a 21-mile strip of road on Pacific Coast Highway, also known as US 1. It attracts tourists and celebrities because of the scenic views which overlook the Pacific Ocean.

Part of what makes the stretch of road so dangerous is the sheer number of drivers that speed along it. Safety experts have also said that a lack of sidings on either side is to blame for a number of crashes.

Officials from the California Department of Transportation have announced plans to make improvements to the 21-mile stretch of roadway. Despite numerous studies and grim statistics about safety concerns, this is the first time that the road will undergo major renovations since the 1950’s.

In all, Caltrans was given $4.2 million to make some 30 planned improvements to the road. State officials have also said that they plan to increase fines and penalties for speeding along the PCH.

Don’t Wait: If you or someone that you love has been injured along the Pacific Coast Highway, you may have legal recourse. Our team of experienced Malibu car accident lawyers are here to answer any questions that you have. Call us today at (949) 727-9300.

Liability For Car Accidents Along The Pacific Coast Highway

Speeding is one of the main causes of car accidents across the United States. According to the National Safety Council, “Speeding was a factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2021, killing 12,330, or an average of over 33 people per day. The total number of fatal motor-vehicle crashes attributable to speeding was 11,057.” Drivers are much more likely to lose control of their vehicles at higher speeds. There are many other ways that speeding may contribute to car accidents along the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • Speeding reduces the amount of time a driver has to react to a situation.
  • Vehicles traveling at higher speeds have a much greater stopping distance.
  • Speeding can make it much more challenging for drivers to negotiate curves in the roadway.
  • Speeding can make it more difficult for drivers to judge the distance of pedestrians and other vehicles.

Depending on the facts of any case, there could be numerous liable parties for any car accident along the Pacific Coast Highway. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code 22350, no person shall drive a motor vehicle at a speed greater than what would be reasonable or safe given the prevailing conditions of the roadway. There is a rebuttable presumption of negligence on the part of any driver that fails to slow down and rear-ends another vehicle in their own lane of traffic. A state agency responsible for a stretch of highway could also potentially be liable for a collision if it was caused by a “dangerous condition” with the roadway.

According to Government Code section 830(a), “Dangerous condition” means a condition of property that creates a substantial (as distinguished from a minor, trivial, or insignificant) risk of injury when such property or adjacent property is used with due care in a manner in which it is reasonably foreseeable that it will be used. There are no strict rules about what could constitute a dangerous condition. Instead, each case must depend on its own unique set of facts. See, for example, Fackrell v. City of San Diego (1945). There are a number of roadway conditions that could create a dangerous condition.

  • Briggs v. State of California (1971): A public entity could be liable for failing to provide warning signs when these were necessary to warn about a condition that “endangered the safe movement of traffic and which would not be reasonably apparent to, and would not have been anticipated by, a person exercising due care.” (Gov. Code, § 830.8)
  • Morris v. California (1979): A dangerous condition could exist when a state agency fails to repair median barriers necessary to prevent crossover collisions.
  • Mamola v. Dept. of Trans. (1979): An unbarricaded ravine could constitute a dangerous condition because it may result in drivers plunging over the ravine into the depths below.
  • Dudum v. City of San Mateo (1959): A dangerous condition may exist when a stop sign is obscured by a tree, even if the tree happens to be on private property.

For any claim alleging a dangerous condition on public property, the public entity in question must have either created the dangerous condition through an act or omission. Or the public entity must have had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition and sufficient time prior to any injury to protect against it. These types of claims are often extremely complex and require a great deal of research and investigation. This is why it is so important to seek legal counsel early on if you’ve been injured on a dangerous stretch of road. A Malibu PCH accident attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating Car Accidents Along The Pacific Coast Highway

We at Samer Habbas & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the families of all those who have died along Dead Man’s Curve on the Pacific Coast Highway. It is good to hear that Caltrans is finally taking some action to help make this stretch of road safer. Sadly, though, for many families, these actions have come far too late.

Have you or someone that you care about been injured along the Pacific Coast Highway? You may have legal recourse through a civil claim. Our team of Malibu car accident lawyers are here to help in any way that we can. We have recovered over $250,000,000 for our deserving clients and are ready to serve your needs. Whether you just have legal questions or would like a risk-free consultation, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 727-9300.